Microsoft Accelerator graduates 9 startups in India summer batch

Its second India edition sees more seed stage and angel investors as lead mentors, a sharper focus on product definition and roadmap and stronger UX support.

Microsoft Accelerator announced the graduation of its second India batch of technology startups, which is also its Summer Batch of 2013, at a Demo Day organized at Microsoft Accelerator campus in Bangalore last Friday.

Team members of graduating startups.

Microsoft Accelerator was launched in India in August last year as a four-month, on-site program and has now graduated two batches. The nine startups which graduated in the second batch are explara, deck, Harness, i7 Networks, iDOS, SupportBee, TableGrabber, Tuebora, and Visarity

The event saw over 200 mentors, industry bigwigs, venture capitalists, angel investors, and media professionals watching the 4-minute pitch and overview of the product by the founder of each startup.

Mukund Mohan, CEO-in-residence, Microsoft Accelerator
Mukund Mohan, CEO-in-residence, Microsoft Accelerator

Congratulating the second batch, Mukund Mohan, CEO-in-residence, Microsoft Accelerator in India, said: "We are extremely happy with the progress this batch, which ranges in businesses from education, enterprise mobile security, customer support, event management and the hospitality industry, has made during the last four months at the Accelerator. We had handpicked them from 450 plus applications."

"Based on our learnings from batch one, we made several improvements in our program, eg. including more seed stage/angel investors as lead mentors, sharper focus on product definition and roadmap and stronger UX support. All these have helped this batch immensely as they prepared to take a significant leap into the global marketplace," he added.

The Microsoft Accelerator team is now shortlisting applications for the third batch, which will be the 2013 Winter batch. The final list of up to 15 startups will be announced in early July. The four-month incubation process will begin on July 15 and end with Demo Day on November 15.

This is a great time for starting up in India with several incubators from technology majors like Microsoft, Times Internet, and even more entrepreneurship-focused groups and events. There's also been a cultural change and entrepreneurship is increasingly recognized and acknowledged beyond the traditional business communities. Also, the age-old perception of starting up as a failover option for the unemployed is finally fading away.

The sentiment was echoed by the Guest-of-Honor at the event, Raman Roy, chairman and managing director of Quatrro and co-founder of Indian Angel Network. "India today is a hotbed of startups. There has been a dramatic change in society’s outlook towards startups. Few years ago, a self-started business was the 'face saving' option for someone who didn’t manage to secure a job. He had no ideas, no strategy and no real interest in the business," said Roy.

Raman Roy, Chairman and Managing Director, Quattro
Raman Roy, chairman and managing director, Quattro.

"Today, the employees and even fresh graduates are brimming with ideas of what can be created into a successful business; people are giving up lucrative job offers, successful executives are leaving high-paying jobs as the entrepreneurial bug bites them."

Microsoft Accelerator addresses key needs of startups like lack of mentorship, access to funds, and the inability to build a strong business foundation. According to the graduating startups, the program helped them with these critical factors that are important for the transition of an idea to a successful product.